herald

Thursday 12 December 2019

No answer as bankers take refuge at their plush pads

The bankers who helped run the country into the ground are now hiding behind the electronic gates of their plush homes rather than apologising for their actions.

Days after the €85bn cash injection that will cripple the nation for years, the former bosses of Anglo Irish, Irish Nationwide, Allied Irish and Bank of Ireland, are conspicuous by their silence.

Sean 'Seanie' FitzPatrick was not at home in Greystones, his new gates keeping unwanted visitors at bay.

The driveway was cluttered with cars, but nobody answered the intercom at the stately pile just beside Greystones Golf Club.

Mr FitzPatrick (62), who has been questioned by gardai, has come to symbolise the excesses of the banking system. He has also refused to say sorry for the massive debt the country has been forced to take on.

Previously he said: "It would be very easy for me to say sorry. The cause of our problems was global so I can't say sorry with any degree of sincerity and decency but I do say thank you."

Meanwhile in Donnybrook, Dublin 4, former AIB boss Eugene Sheehy was not in when the Herald called.

The man who two years ago famously said "We would rather die than raise equity" was not issuing such food for thought from his own front door on Sandford Avenue.

And not far away in Foxrock, in the exclusive Avonmore Estate, former Bank of Ireland boss Brian Goggin was equally quiet.

Mr Goggin previously conceded the company, under his stewardship, had made mistakes on "lending decisions in the past that are now coming home to roost".

"And I suppose if I have a regret, my regret is that I didn't see this coming. And perhaps the lessons of economics were forgotten," said Mr Goggin, who succeeded Michael Soden in June 2004.

He said he regretted that he didn't question "in a more challenging way, the ultimate growth that Ireland was enjoying and the fact that it was unsustainable".

There was a similar lack of response at Michael 'Fingers' Fingleton's detached home down a secluded laneway in Shankill where a Mercedes stood in the driveway, snow collecting on the roof.

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